[BangPypers] Why do indians copy?

Gora Mohanty gora at srijan.in
Fri Oct 16 07:49:03 CEST 2009

On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 08:36:35 +0530
Roshan Mathews <rmathews at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 8:22 AM, srid <sridhar.ratna at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > But Ghose raises an important point about it also being a
> > cultural issue. Heh, wish there was a well-researched Wikipedia
> > article on this topic!
> >
> There is a hypothesis presented in Malcolm Gladwell's book
> Outliers, on cultural factors causing airline accidents.  But
> then others[1] disagree, as with most social arguments it's hard
> to come to any conclusion.

Interesting that you should bring that up. I read Outliers a few
months ago, and while it made some interesting points, I was frankly
not very impressed by it, as also another best-selling book with a
somewhat similar outlook, Freakonmics. I think that Gladwell jumps
to conclusions way too readily.

In this particular incident, without any more data than in the book,
I felt that the blame for the crash that Gladwell lays at the feet
of cultural factors affecting the Avianca crew, could have equally
well been pointed the other way: At the "famously rude" New York
ATC. The NTSB report cited in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avianca_Flight_52 is more even-handed.
One of the really scary possibilities is that the crash was because
of a linguistic misunderstanding.


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